Pumpkin Soup is an easy, hearty dish to cook in the cold months of winter. One thing I love to do is cook my soup and stews on our wood-burner stove. With the fire turned down low, it heats the house and at the same time, our dinner simmers for hours. The flavours merge and mingle and the soup or stew is tender and delicious.Continue reading “Extra-special Pumpkin Soup: Cooking On The Fire”
Teaching at Garston School was never boring, and we’ve had a fair few “education adventures” over the years. One of the best was the wonderful week when we brought an old gold mining shanty town to life.Continue reading “Remembering Robert Town: A Garston School Adventure”
Kawarau Dreams and Nightmares
If you’re a tourist, or new to Queenstown you probably sweep over the new Kawarau Falls bridge without giving it a second thought.
But I never take it for granted. In fact, I’m still pinching myself to check that it’s real.
Because trying to cross the old one-way bridge used to be a nightmare.
For years we called it a bridge, but the old girl was actually a dam. Although, she never quite managed to stop the river water flowing.
Here’s how it happened.Continue reading “Bridging The Kawarau Falls”
There’s nothing quite like crunchy, crisp apples straight from the tree. But if you ask your great-granny about her youth, I guarantee she’ll say, “Apples tasted better back then.”
And it’s true!
Since the 20th century we’ve let many old varieties of fruit and vegetables slip quietly into oblivion — and with them have gone taste… aroma…and diversity. Count up how many different apple names you can see on the supermarket shelves. You might see six, but years ago there would have been dozens throughout the country.
It’s both sad and dangerous for the environment that we’ve lost so much plant diversity in the last hundred years. That’s why we treasure the oldest tree on our farm.Continue reading “The Old Apple Tree”
Summer is haymaking season on the farm and I love to reflect on how making hay has changed over the years. We still use dried grass but our ancestors wouldn’t believe how we can make hay now.Continue reading “Making Hay While The Sun Shines”
Is The Weather Changing?
There is still fierce opposition in some quarters about whether the weather is changing and the whole climate change debate.
It seems to me that humankind has indisputably contributed to the raised carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. And don’t get me started on plastic mountains in the ocean! Or how we’re chopping down our rainforests.
Whether or not you agree with climate change, we really need a radical overhaul in the way we treat our environment — local, national and planet-wide.
This week I took a look back at some memorable weather moments on the farm in Garston. Snow, rain, wind, storms, droughts and of course many, many lovely days. We’ve had them all and more in the 35 years I’ve lived in this beautiful place.